|October 28, 1967
After stopping Huey Newton & Gene McKinney, Oakland Patrolman John Frey is killed and Patrolman Herbert Heanes wounded; Newton is critically injured and arrested.
November 13, 1967
The Alameda County grand jury returns an indictment against Newton with three felonies: the murder of Patrolman John Frey; the assault of Patrolman Herbert Heanes; the kidnapping of Dell Ross near the scene of the crime.
The Black Panther Party forms a coalition with the Peace and Freedom Party, made up mostly young whites opposed to the Vietnam War; the phrase "Free Huey" was created out of this coalition.
February 17, 1968
A large Oakland "Free Huey" rally takes place on Newton's birthday at the Oakland Auditorium; it is attended by 5,000 people including Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver & lawyer Charles Garry among others.
July 15, 1968
Newton's trial begins in the Alameda County Court House; 5,000 demonstrators and 450 Black Panthers gather to show their support.
10 pm, September 8, 1968
The 11 white members and 1 black member of the jury deliberated and concluded, "We, the jury in the above entitled cause, find the above named defendant Huey P. Newton guilty of a felony, to wit, to voluntary manslaughter... not guilty of a felony, to wit, assault with a deadly weapon upon a police officer..."
September 27 - 28, 1968
Newton sentenced to 2-15 years for manslaughter to be served at the California Men's Colony, East Facility, in San Luis Obispo, California; inmates more commonly knew it as the California Penal Colony.
May 11, 1969
"Free Huey" rally is held in San Francisco, California on May Day.
May 29, 1970
After 21 months of appeals by lawyer Charles Garry, the California Appellate Court overturns Newton's manslaughter conviction based on Judge Friedman's incomplete instructions given to the jury.
August 5, 1970
After posting a $50,000 bail, Huey P. Newton is released.
|Newton had been charged with 1st degree murder, assault and kidnapping in October 1967. This brought the Black Panther Party into international prominence and made Huey a revolutionary icon during 3 years of rallies & protests by tens of thousands of people across North America to "Free Huey". As Roger points out though, once Huey was released, a new problem was created:
"Yeah they freed Huey. Then Huey came out and they wanted Huey to free them and I keep trying to tell the people, I say people, that's the true power of the people, you freed me, you freed Huey, now why don't you all go ahead and free yourself? But see, they can't do that can they? They can't do that cause the people always have to create what they call a leader and a leader is everything that the people want to be but the leader is everything that the people can never be so then when the leader fails, he's gonna fail, he's just flesh and blood, he's gonna fail, when the leader fails then the whole construction of the concept of leadership fails and then it just becomes a matter of contempt. And that's when they assassinate you and then put your image on a postage stamp so they can keep lickin' you in the grave."